HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Tropical Storm Don is edging closer to the Texas coastline, but the system is not expected to become a hurricane before making landfall either late tonight or early tomorrow.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Don's maximum sustained winds early this morning are near 50 mph with only slight strengthening expected before it reaches the coast of Texas late tonight or early tomorrow.
It's expected to make landfall south of Corpus Christi. ABC13 Meteorologist Casey Curry says the effect on the Houston area will be minimal. Our forecast will be the same as it's been the last few days -- hot and humid with scattered downpours.
However, tropical storm warnings have been issued for Jackson and Matagorda counties from 10am Friday until 9am Saturday. The warning runs the coastline from Matagorda to the mouth of the Rio Grande. A tropical storm watch continues for all of Matagorda and Brazoria counties.
By Sunday afternoon Don would be a tropical depression over the Big Bend, National Hurricane Center forecasters say.
The watch for Brazoria County has been dropped.
Don is centered about 255 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and is moving west-northwest near 14 mph.
Reporter Samica Knight is in Corpus Christi, where the city is on alert, but not 'high' alert. They say they biggest threat is flooding rain. They're still making preps and advising residents to do the same.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the junior college on the island have been evacuated and shut down until Monday.
Clearing the Gulf
Federal regulators say 11 offshore petroleum production platforms have been shuttered in the Gulf of Mexico with the approach of Tropical Storm Don.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said Thursday that about 6.8 percent of normal Gulf oil production had been cut off, along with 2.8 percent of normal natural gas production following personnel evacuations.
That's just under 95,000 barrels of oil per day and 148 million cubic feet of gas per day.